1. Blogger Interview #1: My Questions, Louella's Answers!

    Wednesday, 30 June 2010
    By Sonia
    I really like Louella's blog Masala w Bigosie a lot. Although I don't always agree what she writes, I really appreciate how "devoted" she is. She updates her blog quite frequently. It totally suits somebody like me who's very obsessive about checking updates of blogs, (almost like I have OCD....) I am sure she has put a lot of effort into it. She also writes well as her posts are well organized. (I truly appreciate that as I don't think I can do it no matter in English or Chinese)  I started reading her blog when I first started watching South Indian movies and she writes a lot about them. It's really great that she does not only write movie reviews. She would also write articles with special themes sharing what she's discovered in different movies. So I find her blog quite diversified while it focuses on Indian cinema.

    This blogger interview special was first inspired by her (and I hope I can keep it up with very limited time....) because I could feel that she has SOOOOO much love for Indian movies and I really wanted to know why and how she began and the things in-between!

    Maybe it's not exactly an interview. I only emailed 11 questions to Louella and she gave me back some good and interesting answers! I'm using the exact words of Louella so there's should be no problem with miscommunication/misunderstanding! Enjoy, people!

    1) Sonia: You’re really active, having a blog with frequent updates and using Tweeter and other medium. How much time do you spend online writing/checking/doing stuff about Indian cinema on average per day?

    Louella: I don't have internet in my laptop so it's quite difficoult for me. I usually use some of computers in my school liblary on longer breaks, it takes about 1,5h a week, if to sum. I spend lot of time watching movies offline, also 99% of reviews I publish I write offline. To write a review, it takes me about 15-30 minutes. It, of course, depends on the movie. Some, which are really touching, takes to describe more than 3 hours and even then I don't have even the synopsis written! I have specific style of writing reviews, I learned it a long ago in school, it helps me to be quick and to write exactly what I want to.
    A day it tooks 4h, sometimes more if it's weekend or some holiday.

    2) Sonia: I’m quite new to your blog. I only remember that K3G is your first Indian movie. But how did you come cross it?

    Louella: It was a gift for some daily newspaper. My sister buyed it because some of her friends said it's good. For her it wasn't and she left me watching. I finished and liked it a lot but then I was having another passion so Indian cinema had to wait two years, than I saw Salaam Namaste and decided to watch more :)

    3) Sonia: Did you try to preach Indian cinema to your friends? And what is the usual reaction you get?

    Louella: Quite frequently, Indian movies are in my head all the time. Some people are interested only to hear what is it and they refuse to watch something. My friends now I'm mad about many things, like Indian movies, they laugh but they aren't vicious, thank God :) In Poland number of NRIs is very small so the whole thing is brand new to our country since 2005, when first pure Indian movie was released, it was K3G, I watched it later, in 2006. It hurts when people think that Indian Cinema = Bollywood, also when they are sure that SRK is in every movie, those are ones from the worst steroetypes I know.

    4) Sonia:Have your blog caught the attention of the media back in Poland? (Because of Slumdog Millionaire, the media here in Hong Kong tried to interview people who like Bollywood But they don’t exactly quote us correctly….)

    Louella : Nope.

    5) Sonia: I have heard/read that Bollywood is getting big in Eastern Europe. There’s Indian Film Festival in several countries there. How would you comment on the popularity of Indian cinema in your country?

    Sonia: I can say it's growing but it's not that high. People mostly would see few movies, enjoy them and forget. On the other hand, I know few Polish people who knew a lot about Indian cinema, they are really great in it.

    6) Sonia: You’ve been watching quite a lot of Indian movies. Is anything still a great obstacle for you to understand the movies?

    Louella: Language, I think it's the only thing.

    7) Sonia: Is there anything in Indian movies that you really don’t like? Even you may have got used to it by now…

    Louella: Hmm, dubbing? And some stupid rules, mostly in production, small screenspace for ladies. Candour for new ideas isn't big.

    8) Sonia: Does watching Indian movies change you in any way? / Does it affect your daily life or your perception towards things in general?

    Louella: I'm wearing specific pants, part of kameez and 80% of music I listen to is from India or connected to it. Also my body language changed, I love to imitate some heroes like Vijay or Rajni. I always been speaking quite different Polish, I use m hometown dialect and lot of slang with dose of idioms, after becoming full time indian movies addict I'm used to use more macaronicisms, using single words from some of Indian langs I know, like 'I feel chaala tired, mum.'.

    9) Sonia: I think most people reading my blog is not a regular reader of yours. Can you name a few other films that are your “all time favourites” that are not Indian movies? Just so they can grasp some idea about you as a movie-goer.

    Louella: There are lots of them :) Cinema Paradiso, Dekalog, Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie, Trzy kolory, Przypadek, Barry Lyndon, Bad Taste, Ghostbusters...

    10) Sonia: I guess it’ll be quite difficult to draw a list ranking your favourite Indian movies. (At least it’s very difficult for me!) But can you name 5 to 10 (as you like) films for those who are interested to find out more about Indian cinema?

    Louella: Well, I think it's good to find a movie from a genre which somebody likes a lot, for example comedy or thiller. I can't give just 5-10 movies, everyone has different taste, mine is quite peculiar.

    11) Sonia: Is there anything that you’d just like to share with people who don’t know much about Indian films or even other lovers of Indian films out there?

    Louella: Have courage to praise what you like and loathe that you hate. Indian cinema have amazing variety of movies, also watching ONLY hindi movies is a big waste. Be broad-minded, it helps, not matter where you live.
    Continue reading »
  2. Bollywood Newbie#1 - Tollywood Newbie....

    Thursday, 10 June 2010
    By Sonia

    I decided to start this special feature on my blog mostly because I have too much time during the summer. Also, it’s also part of my constant “preaching”(in a different way). Anyway, the whole point of Bollywood Newbie is to get my friends who haven’t watched Indian movies before to watch one and then I’ll ask them what they think about the film.

    My first “victim” is Daphne. Why Daphne? She’s a very very good friend of mine and would definitely say yes! AND – she watched 2 Bollywood films and liked them too. Since she’s already watched 2 Hindi films, I recommended South Indian movies. Originally, I asked her to choose from 1) Blockbuster, 2) Rom-com and 3) Action. But she wanted horror. Arundhati is the only Southern horror I’ve seen so it had to be Arundhati.
    To let you understand Daphne as a film lover -
    Daphne's All Time Favourites:
    The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Being John Malkovich

    I got some interesting answers from Daphne -
    1) What do you like about the movie?
    To my surprise, the first thing she mentioned was “feet”. She really liked how Indian women walk with bare feet. She felt that even their feet can act, especially in the dancing scenes. Another example she raised was the car-trap scene in Arundhati. That was quite an exciting scene.

    She also found how the villain made his entry interesting. (He took the form of a lizard at the beginning of the movie) Daphne said it’s a bit similar to a Thai movie. She found it interesting ‘cause it’s different from the typical images of ghosts, for instance, female ghosts with long hair as in the Ring. The old maid in Arundhati has a scar on her forehead. Daphne said it’s similar to a character in Silent Hill. (I haven’t watched Silent Hill so I’m only quoting what Daphne told me.)

    2) What don't you like about the movie?

    The pace – she’s not used to it ‘cause the film is relatively slow in a certain points. She said you don’t need to have all the characters tell you everything in details again when you can get it from the flash back. And obviously Arundhati isn’t scary enough, which I also agree.

    I remember there’s one thing about Arundhati that I didn’t like so much - the way they make the villain so evil that it’s not even believable. I asked if Daphne felt the same when she watched the movie. She said it was okay. Not too exaggerating and still convincing to her. She said Sonu Sood’s look in the movie was very “chic”.

    3) What surprised you in the movie?

    Special effects: they were better than Daphne expected.
    The blind dancing teacher – she thought the dancing teacher being blind may be a symbol. She’s reading My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk. In the book, she learnt that Muslim people believe that some blind people are closer to Allah. I haven’t heard of that before (which is not a surprise…) and I guess most people agree that was a copy of the Chinese movie by Zhang Yimou.

    4) North Vs South

    Daphne has watched 2 Hindi movies (OSO and Chak De India) so I asked her how she’d compare North and South Indian movies. It’s a difficult question because the genres are hugely different. But she’s quite observant and was able to share something.

    Arundhati doesn’t have so many dances in it. (only 1 if I remember it correctly.) The music is a bit more traditional, compared with OSO and Chak De India. She also saw both old and new India in it. Even when the movie is on the Arundhati at present time, there are still big old mansions and the Muslim exorcists. I guess it’s interesting and appealing to people who don’t watch Indian movies so often.

    5) Rating

    I don’t really rate movies when I write about them. But I asked Daphne to rate Arundhati just to see how she much liked it. She gave a 3.7 out of 5!
    Continue reading »